Thinking about purchasing an easy to drive, maneuverable, highway-friendly RV? No doubt a Class B has been added to your list. Purchasing a Class B can be a challenge in certain price ranges, though, and also be hard to find.

If you are deciding whether to purchase a Class B RV or not, you may also be wondering if purchasing a cargo van and converting it to an RV is a better choice. Here is a pros and cons guide to help you decide which is right for you. 

CLASS B

Luckily, Class B RV’s for sale range from early 1990’s models to more recent. Depending on your level of comfort with older engines, you may find the older styles more retro and fun. Here are 2 to consider:

  1. Roadtrek 1990’s Class B. Roadtrek is known for building solid, long lasting Class Bs. 
  2. Born Free. This iconic brand, though no longer in business, still has some well-built 1990’s models on the road.
1996 Born Free Class B

PROs of older Class B RV’s:

  • Priced well for the features
  • Well taken care of in most cases

CONs of older Class B RV’s:

  • Expect to do some upgrades and repairs to engine, chassis, exterior shell and interior
  • Chassis and engine will not outlast the interiors if you plan to upgrade quite a bit

The next step up are the mid-2000 year Class B models. Winnebago came on the scene in the 2000s, as well as Pleasure Way and Coachmen. Although pricier, you may find the trade offs are worth it for your extra dough. Here are some manufacturers to consider:

  1. Gulf Stream Class B RVs for sale 2000-2009
  2. Chinook Class B RVs for sale 2000-2009
  3. 2000’s Roadtrek Class B’s for sale
2006 Roadtrek RS Versatile

PRO’s of newer Class B RVs:

  • Newer engine means longer use of your RV before chassis is defunct
  • Upgraded features in newer models

Of course, the latest and greatest Class Bs have stunning interiors and features, including all wheel drive, complete off the grid capabilities, and luxuries such as pop-up TV’s and even fireplaces. If you want a worry-free Class B experience, a 2010 or newer Class B for sale may be just what you need. Here are two popular ones:

  1. Winnebago Travato
  2. Coachmen Class B
2012 Winnebago Travato

CAMPER VAN CONVERSION from a CARGO VAN

Most of the newer Class B options above fall onto one of 3 cargo van bodies: Dodge Ram, Mercedes Sprinter, and Ford Transit. Gutted, these vans can be outfitted (upfitted) to have most of the creature comforts you require for camping. At a much lower base cost, you can enter the Camper Van market with  a lower barrier to entry with a conversion. 

There are three options for building out a van to be a suitable camper:

  1. DIY. Following the many Youtube tutorials and bloggers, you can start from scratch and customize to your heart’s desire.
  2. Follow a Conversion Kit. There are several companies who offer blueprints to help you avoid mistakes.
  3. Hire a van conversion  / upfitter. This is the most expensive option, but these conversion companies have their craft down to a science and can get you as close to a Class B as possible. 

Specs of the Three Main Van Types

Dodge RAMMercedes SprinterFord Transit 350 Cargo
2021 price: $31,000 average2021 price: $34,000 average2021 price: $32,000 average
Engine: 3.6L V6 or 3L turbo dieselEngine: 2 liter four cylinder or 3 liter V6Engine: 3.7 L V6 or 3.5 L V6 turbo
Fuel: Gas or turbo diesel optionFuel: Diesel onlyFuel: Gas
Towing capabilities: 6,900Towing Capabilities: 5000-7000 lbs4,560 lbs
Standard Height: 118”Standard Height: 144”Standard Height: 83.9”
High-Roof option: 159”High-Roof option: 170”High-Roof option: 148”
Total cargo space: 259-439Total cargo space: 319Total cargo space: 246-487

Sources: 

https://www.motorbiscuit.com/the-ram-promaster-vs-mercedes-sprinter-which-van-is-better/

https://frconversions.com/ford-transit-vs-ram-promaster-cargo-vans/#:~:text=At%20their%20most%20spacious%20configurations,more%20wheelbase%20and%20length%20options

https://www.autoblog.com/buy/2021-Ford-Transit_350+Cargo-Base__All_wheel_Drive_High_Roof_Van_148_in._WB/

Of course, you can purchase a ready to go, used Camper Van Conversion vehicle as well. 

Whichever choice is right for you, RVT is here for you to help you find the Class B or Camper Van for sale you are looking for. Use our free search feature to research pricing, floorplans, models and specs, to find your perfect van-based RV. 

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